Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eleventy Billion Oxeyes; Tillandsia Baubles

Ball of moss. Kind of.

Ode to the Sprinkler
Matt's nursery dumped their oxeye daisy inventory--apparently, it's hard to get them to bloom in a pot and thus hard to get them to sell. We were the beneficiaries. I'd been want something daisyish to cluster around the roses and hide any knobbly knees, and oxeyes are--I hope--just the thing.

I spent several hours yesterday and several more today placing them, using a carpet knife to cut openings in the blasted weed barrier (in my head, I now say this word the same way Seinfeld says "Newman!"), and digging holes. It was pretty damned unpleasant, even at 8:30 this morning, until I turned on a sprinkler to give a little encouragement to the daisies still in 4-inches. I had flats and flats of daisies to plant, so I just plodded away under the spray and got completely, blissfully drenched. You've no idea (unless, I suppose, you've ever been wet yourself. Then you might just possibly have an idea) how cool and refreshing it was. I may do all my summer yardwork under a sprinkler. Beats the hell out of heatstroke, and goodness knows pretty much every inch of the yard could use some extra water.

The daisies are all looking a little appalled by everything (it was very hard to keep them from crispifying in their pots), but I'm hoping they'll bounce back now that they're in the earth. I do think they'll make a nice unifying motif in a yard that is often (charmingly?) heterogeneous.

Some traumatized daisies lining the front walk

On a side note, adding the daisies pretty much necessitates that we switch from spaghetti tubing to regular PVC+sprinkler heads. Digging irrigation trenches behind 5' roses: that should be... fun.

Suspended Epiphytes

In pond news, I bought some Tillandsia ionantha 'Fuego' plants a week or two ago to grow as a sphere and suspend over the pond. I'd like ultimately to have about 5 baubles, each growing different Tillandsias, all hanging from the Robinia over the pond. Tillandsias are the genus to which Spanish moss (T. usneoides) and ball moss (T. recurvata) both belong. I rather miss the Spanish moss from home, and its brother and sister species come in some really fantastic shapes and colors, so I think it could look really neat. Anyway, I installed the T. ionantha ball today. I used a grapevine ball and hot-glued (I know, but this is actually a recommended method!) the little plants to the ball. Turns out, it taked umpty-zillion plants to fill in a small (~5" dia.) grapevine ball--and I had seven. So it's looking a little sparse, but I'm hoping it will fill in over time. Or I'll buy more. (The idea was to look like this).

Bear in mind that this is the first of 5. I'm sure it will eventually make visual sense.
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